Safe Passwords

Here are some top tips for creating a strong password, one that can’t be guessed by other people.

Why we need safe passwords

Many websites will ask for personal details, such as your name, address, date of birth or credit card information. To protect that information, you have to create a password. Creating a good password that can’t easily be guessed is an important way of protecting yourself online.

Why good passwords matter

If somebody else gets hold of your password, they can use that password to access the personal accounts on the websites you’ve visited. That means that your email, banking, shopping and social media accounts might be hijacked.

A good password makes it much harder for someone to guess your password, which means that your personal accounts can be far more secure.

A screenshot of a game of Solitaire

What not to do

There are some common mistakes that people make when creating passwords. These include:

  • Using obvious or super simple passwords, such as 1234, password or qwerty
  • Using personal information, like birthdays, or the names of pets or family members
  • Using dictionary words, such as Friday, pizza or holiday
  • Using the same password for multiple websites.

You should avoid making these mistakes yourself. Instead, you should create a good password, one that can’t be easily guessed.

How to create a good password

A good password looks like it’s just a jumble of letters, numbers and symbols. For example, 3br@T2 or Figit32! are good passwords.

But remembering those types of passwords can be hard, so there are some tricks you can use to create good passwords that you can remember.

  • You can use the substitution method. This is where you take a word and replace several letters with numbers, symbols and uppercase letters. For example, friday could become f7!Day.
  • You can use a phrase or lyric that you remember and make the password from the first letter of each word. For example, Married on the 24th of July could be used to remember the good password, Mot24oJ.

Storing passwords in a web browser

Over time, you’ll need to remember a lot of passwords. Your web browser can help with that. Just follow these steps:

  1. When you enter the password on a website, your browser will ask if it you would like it to remember the password.
  2. Only click Yes if you own the computer. If you’re on a public computer, click No or Never.
  3. If you clicked Yes, the next time you visit that website, the password will be filled in for you.

Regardless of how secure your device is, we recommend you never allow your browser to remember your myGov account, online shopping account or online banking account usernames or passwords.

Keeping it up

You should create a new good password every time you’re asked to create a new password. As an added precaution, you can change your most important passwords every few months.

If you’ve forgotten your password, there is usually a forgotten password link or button when you try to log in. Click on it, and you can arrange for the website to send you a new one by email.